Configuring a new MacBook

When setting up a new MacBook, there are a few steps you should take to get it up and running smoothly. In this article, we’ll explore a list of items you should consider toggling to optimize your MacBook experience.

Table Of Contents:

Step 1: Update OS

Before you start using your new MacBook, make sure to update the operating system to the latest version. This will ensure that your MacBook has the latest security updates and performance improvements.

Step 2: Dock Customization

By default, the dock is populated with several applications that you may not use frequently. To declutter your dock, remove the apps that you don’t use often. To do this, simply right-click on the app and select “Remove from Dock.”


Step 3: Log in to Existing Apple ID Account

To access Apple’s services and apps, you’ll need to log in to your existing Apple ID account. If you don’t have an Apple ID, you can create one during the setup process.

Step 4: Download Apps

Here’s a list of recommended Mac apps to download:

From the AppStore

From the internet

  • Google Chrome
  • 1Password
  • Notion
  • iTerm2
  • SourceTree
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Insomnia
  • Proxyman

Google Chrome

  • Make default browser
  • Log in to profiles (personal/work)


  • Download OhMyZsh
  • Download Homebrew
  • Copy your ~/.zshrc from a previous MacBook (aliases/configs/etc)

SSH Keys

If you are using SSH keys for your personal/work repositories:

  1. Create a new SSH key: ssh-keygen -t ed25519 -C “your_mail”
    • Use a password to encrypt it.
    • You need to provide a name for your key. (Example: personal)
  2. Add the ssh key to your Github account.
    • Copy the contents of the .pub file.
      • cat ~/.ssh/name-of-your-key | pbcopy
    • Add the new SSH key in Github’s configuration page.
  3. Configure SSH Keys in your ~/.ssh/config file. It should look like this:
     Host personal
         User git
         IdentityFile /Users/manu/.ssh/personal
  4. Add the key to your keychain: ssh-add --apple-use-keychain ~/.ssh/personal
    • Enter the encryption password.
  5. Now you can use git clone git@personal:organization/repo.git to clone private repositories.

Note: If you are using SourceTree, be careful with the auto-generated keys, they will probably not work. If you keep getting Access Denied with those keys, try following the steps described above instead.

Step 5: Configure Settings

Here’s a list of recommended settings to customize:

System Settings


  1. Turn off almost every notification


  1. Change Accent Color

Control Center

  1. Turn on Show Battery Percentage

Desktop and Dock

  1. Turn Off Show Recent Applications on Dock
  2. Hot Corners → Top Right → Show Desktop
  3. Make Chrome the default browser
  4. Turn Off Automatically rearrange Spaces based on most recent use


  1. Increase Key Repeat Rate to the maximum value.
  2. Decrease Delay until repeat to the shortest value.
  3. Shortcuts -> Screenshots -> Change the shortcut for Copy picture of selected area to the clipboard to ⌘ + Shift + S


  1. Increase Tracking Speed to 8/10
  2. Turn on Tap to click


  1. Turn off Automatically adjust brightness

Finder Settings

  1. Order Sidebar
  2. Advanced → Check off all the Show warning before… boxes
  3. View → Show View Options → Sort by name, Group by name → Set as Defaults

Additional Tips

To stop workspaces from stealing focus:

defaults write workspaces-auto-swoosh -bool false
osascript -e 'tell application "Dock" to quit'


In conclusion, setting up a new MacBook can be an exciting but daunting experience, especially for those who are new to the Mac ecosystem. However, by following the five steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your MacBook is up-to-date, decluttered, and customized to your needs. Updating the operating system, customizing the dock, logging in to your Apple ID account, downloading essential apps, and configuring settings will optimize your MacBook experience and make it more enjoyable to use.

Configuring a new MacBook |
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